July 31, 2021

The climate law definitively adopted, after long negotiations between the Senate and the Assembly

On Tuesday, July 20, Parliament definitively adopted the climate bill, a “Ecological turning point” in front of “The climate emergency” praised by the government, but strongly criticized by many associations and the left, for its “Lack of ambition”.

Tuesday afternoon, the Senate and the Assembly successively voted this dense text, inspired by the work of the citizens’ convention for the climate. A compromise was found a week ago between the two chambers, after long night negotiations.

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Presented at the beginning of 2021, the bill reflects part of the 146 proposals of the convention that Emmanuel Macron retained. The constitutional aspect, in order to engrave the climate in the Fundamental Law by referendum, has, for its part, been abandoned for lack of agreement between the two chambers.

According to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, this law represents a “Global cultural rocker”, “An ecology” from ” common sense “ and ” Daily “ thanks to measures such as the elimination of domestic airlines in the event of an alternative by train lasting less than two and a half hours, or the ban on the rental of “Thermal strainers”, housing classified G and F for their energy performance, in 2025 and 2028.

Doubts of the Council of State

Members of the citizens’ convention and environmental NGOs point out, for their part, the “Unraveling” of their proposals. Steps for “A real climate law” were organized in recent months, and a new demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday near the Assembly.

Associated with other laws and the recovery plan, this climate bill “Allows” to France “To strive towards the objective of – 40%” greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, assures the Ministry of Ecological Transition, which is counting on rapid promulgation.

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The High Council for the Climate, an independent body, and the Council of State, the highest French administrative court, have expressed serious doubts about the capacity of the State to respect the commitments made during the Paris Agreement of 2015. The Council of State gave him nine months to take “All relevant measures”. The state is threatened with a fine of 10 million euros per semester if it does not do more in the fight against air pollution.

Especially since the French trajectory should be even more demanding, with the new climate package unveiled by the European Union. The commission, which aims to reduce the continent’s emissions by 55% in 2030 compared to 1990, calls for the ban on the sale of thermal vehicles from 2035 – a French law of 2019 aims for 2040.

“The law remains very far from the climate objectives”

The text includes around 320 articles, including eight measures that have given rise to numerous debates in the Assembly and the Senate:

  • Ban on advertising in favor of fossil fuels and, by 2028, advertising for the most polluting vehicles, in order to prepare consumers for the end of their marketing;
  • increase in the powers of mayors with regard to the regulation of advertising space, in particular on screens in shop windows;
  • possibility for voluntary regions to institute from 2024 an eco-tax for road freight transport. Senators Republicans, rather hostile to the measure, specified the device so that it targets roads “Likely to support a significant postponement of traffic” due to environmental taxes in neighboring territories, ie primarily cross-border regions, such as Alsace;
  • compulsory establishment of low emission zones (limiting the circulation of certain vehicles) by 2025 in all metropolitan areas with more than 150,000 inhabitants. The senators added support, thanks to the experimentation of a zero rate loan for the acquisition of clean vehicles, intended for people living nearby;
  • ban on air flights when there is an alternative by train with a direct connection lasting less than two and a half hours provided several times a day (exceptions possible for journeys providing connections);
  • supervision of the rent of so-called “Thermal strainers” (classified F and G, or nearly 5 million). From 2025 for the G, and from 2028 for the F, they will no longer be classified ” Decent housing “ and will therefore be prohibited for rental. The measure will apply to classified E dwellings in 2034;
  • Generalization of a weekly vegetarian menu in canteens. Experimentation in voluntary local communities of a daily vegetarian option. Minimum of 60% meat and fish from “Quality” in school canteens, from 2024. Extension to private collective catering of the obligation to use 50% sustainable or fair trade products, and 20% organic.

Also listen Is the climate law up to the challenges?

Overall, in the eyes of the WWF France organization, “There were no miracles, and the law remains very far from the climate objectives and the expectations of the citizens”. The left and environmentalists have relayed these criticisms. On the right, elected officials The Republicans worried about the proliferation of « taxes » or a “Judicialization” environmental issues, in particular opposing the crime “Ecocide” provided for in law.

The World with AFP